HMRC Offers Support for Struggling Taxpayers Amid 66,000-Strong Workforce

HMRC, the UK tax office, offers support for struggling taxpayers, warns about scams, and faces complaints over pension tax changes, highlighting its role in ensuring a fair and compassionate tax system.

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HMRC Offers Support for Struggling Taxpayers Amid 66,000-Strong Workforce

HMRC Offers Support for Struggling Taxpayers Amid 66,000-Strong Workforce

The UK tax office, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), employs over 66,000 people and is responsible for collecting taxes through various means, including income tax deducted from wages, self-assessment tax returns, and additional payments from businesses such as corporation tax, VAT, and PAYE. Despite its large workforce and diverse collection methods, HMRC recognizes the challenges faced by some taxpayers and offers support for those struggling to pay.

HMRC provides time to pay arrangements and extra assistance for individuals and businesses with health or personal difficulties that make it challenging to meet their tax obligations. "HMRC encourages people to declare any undeclared taxable income as soon as possible, as they may be able to consider the case more favorably," according to the agency. Taxpayers can report changes to their personal information through the Government Gateway service, while businesses must notify HMRC of any changes directly.

Why this matters: HMRC's support for struggling taxpayers is vital in ensuring a fair and compassionate tax system, especially during times of economic uncertainty. By offering assistance and flexibility to those facing difficulties, HMRC demonstrates its commitment to working with taxpayers to find solutions and maintain compliance.

While taxpayers have the right to arrange their own tax affairs, many choose to hire tax agents to handle HMRC interactions. The agency may request information or conduct visits to ensure compliance and can provide additional support to those with health or personal circumstances that make it difficult to engage. In cases of outstanding tax debts, HMRC may agree to formal insolvency procedures like a Company Voluntary Arrangement if it believes it can recover a greater proportion of the debt this way.

HMRC also warns about various scams where fraudsters impersonate HMRC officials to steal personal and financial information from victims. These scams include fake tax refund offers, threatening phone calls, and fraudulent emails and text messages. The agency advises people not to respond to suspicious messages and to report any suspicious activity to the HMRC website.

Recently, HMRC has faced complaints following last-minute alterations to its new pension tax system, which has replaced the Lifetime Allowance with a lower limit on lump sum payments. The agency has advised some clients to postpone taking their pension benefits or transferring them until it can rectify incorrect legislation related to the abolition of the lifetime allowance. Industry experts have expressed concerns about the poor implementation of these changes, with HMRC stating that it is working closely with the industry to support schemes and members where they would benefit from waiting for these changes and that guidance will be provided as soon as possible.

Key Takeaways

  • HMRC collects taxes through various means and offers support for struggling taxpayers.
  • HMRC provides time to pay arrangements and extra assistance for individuals and businesses.
  • HMRC warns about scams where fraudsters impersonate HMRC officials to steal personal data.
  • HMRC has faced complaints over last-minute changes to its new pension tax system.
  • HMRC is working to rectify issues and provide guidance on the pension tax changes.